Fact Check: George Soros Did NOT Say He Is 'Funding Black Hate Groups' To 'Bring Down' The U.S.

Fact Check

  • by: Jessica Ravitz
Fact Check: George Soros Did NOT Say He Is 'Funding Black Hate Groups' To 'Bring Down' The U.S. Phony Quote

Did George Soros say in a 2014 interview with Bild, Germany's largest and most popular tabloid newspaper, that he was "going to bring down the United States by funding Black Hate groups"? No, that's not true: A spokesman for Bild told Lead Stories that the billionaire and philanthropist was not interviewed by the paper in 2014 and that the quote never appeared in any interview with or article about Soros.

The false claim on Soros appeared in social media posts like this one (archived here), which was published on Twitter on May 30, 2020. This post opened with these words:

It's confirmed - most of the protestors were from out of state. Who is organizing these people, where are they coming from and how are they getting to MN? No doubt there are others with an agenda to destroy America! #GeorgeSorosRiots

This is what the post looked like on Twitter at the time of writing:

Twitter screenshot

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Thu Jun 4 13:41:22 2020 UTC)

The full fake quote that's spread across social media in recent years reads as follows:

I'm going to bring down the United States by funding Black Hate groups. We'll put them into a mental trap and make them blame white people. The Black community is the easiest to manipulate.

-George Soros
(Interview with Germany's BILD - Sept. 2014)

The quote, in the form of a meme, has cropped up before and resurfaced amid nationwide protests in the aftermath of George Floyd's death on May 25, 2020, while in police custody in Minneapolis. Demonstrators have cried out for justice on behalf of Floyd and other black Americans who've died at the hands of law enforcement.

Conspiracy theories about Soros are not new, as described in this March 30, 2020, article in Forbes, titled, "Right-Wing Conspiracists Pull From Old Playbook: Blame George Soros For Riots." The article begins:

As Minnesota officials blamed violent protests on organized groups from out of state, far-right commentators on Twitter increasingly began blaming billionaire George Soros for playing a shadowy role behind the riots taking place in cities across the country--employing an old conspiracy theory based on false information and anti-semitic tropes."

A spokeswoman for Open Society Foundations, which was founded by Soros and, according to its website, stands as "the world's largest private funder of independent groups working for justice, democratic governance, and human rights," was quick to dismiss this tired and bogus claim. Laura Silber directed Lead Stories to a September 7, 2016, debunking by Snopes, before offering these words:

George Soros has devoted his philanthropic career alongside communities of color to obtain justice. This quote is a complete fabrication. We've seen how dangerous disinformation can be.

Thank you for calling out false and malicious content wherever you find it."

Lead Stories also reached out to Bild, where the made-up quote allegedly surfaced in a September 2014 interview. Christian Senft, who is head of communications for the publication, had this to say in an email:

There was no interview with George Soros in BILD or BILD.de in 2014.

Also in other articles or interviews in BILD with or about George Soros I cannot find this quote."

Here are a few Lead Stories article debunking flase claims about George Soros:

Fact Check: George Floyd Death Protester Did NOT Accidentally Drop Riot Manual

Fake News: Federal Records Did NOT Show George Soros Was Biggest Funder Of Iowa Caucus App

Fake News: Photo Showing Greta Thunberg and George Soros Is NOT Real

Fake News: Trump Did NOT File Lawsuit To Deport George Soros

Fake News: Robert Soros (Son of George Soros) NOT Married To Sister of Adam Schiff

  Jessica Ravitz

Jessica Ravitz, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is a former senior writer at CNN Digital. For more than a decade, she wrote longform narratives and profiles on topics ranging from gun violence, sexual assault and suicide to women’s health, spirituality and race.


Read more about or contact Jessica Ravitz

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